It’s Money Monday!
One of my friends recently gave me the idea to talk about how money can make for awkward conversations when invited to an event or outing.
Maybe you’re invited to dinner and you don’t have the funds to eat at an expensive steakhouse.
Maybe you’re asked to be a bridesmaid and you know a dress + shoes + hotel + bachelorette party is going to put you out $500 or more.
Or you could be just saving for something big or trying to get out of debt so you don’t want to go to another happy hour, work social, or concert.
I think we all need to be sensitive to each other’s budgets and financial situations. I know it’s hard to be transparent but it’s ridiculous to pressure someone into doing anything when they may not be in the situation to pay the bill.
I’ve talked with friends who were mad because their group went out to dinner and everyone decided to just “throw in” for the bill. But Tommy and Pam didn’t order drinks or an appetizer, so they thought they should only owe $25 while John and Suzie owe $45. It may seem petty to you, but $20 may be huge to someone that is trying to get out of a bad situation! I’m all for generosity, but if they don’t want to shout your beer then they shouldn’t be required to!
I wonder if some of this comes from the fact that most people in America live under a facade.
We try to appear wealthy when we really aren’t— we take on debt we can’t afford to prove to people that we have “made it.”
Our family uses the Dave Ramsey envelope system to budget for grocery, eating out, babysitting, and “fun money” (i.e. extra eating out, a clothing item, etc). We’ve gotten so much slack for this from different people… but as with most things in life, you have to believe enough in what you are doing so that when negativity comes your way it doesn’t make you change your course!
I think it’s perfectly fine to refuse a dinner invitation – no explanation needed but you could say, “We’re not going to be able to attend. We’re trying to (insert best fit) pay off car, go to Europe, save for a new couch, etc…”
It’s also okay to say you can’t be in a wedding or attend a function that is outside your budget.
True friends will always understand and show grace. The rest aren’t worth it.
Has your goal-setting created some awkward money situations? Have you declined an invitation and cited financial reasons? I’d love to hear your thoughts!